Jeremy Baker

River Kings: A New History of Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads 📚

An exciting new book arrived today, detailing some fascinating new bioarchaeological findings from the Viking ‘Great Army’ mass burial at Repton, UK. A carnelian bead identified connections between western and eastern Viking expansion, travel and trade.

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“Azadi” - Freedom, Fascism, Fiction - Arundhati Roy

An incredible set of essays on our times, focussed on India, but relevant everywhere.

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4 random beautiful books from the Library. #beautifulbooks #buylocal #buylocalnz @vicbks @unitybookswgtn @goodbookshopnz #saynotoamazon

Something interesting to read on my first flight ✈️ for ages…

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"The Viking Way: Magic and Mind in the Late Iron Age Scandinavia"

Neil Price (Oxbow Books 2013), 2nd Edition, 432 pages, hardback.

I have waited for this book for years - and now its here! What a tome. . .

mbnov

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Landscape and Memory" by Simon Schama made a huge impression on me when it first came out in 1995. It still resonates today. A masterwork of history and sociology. #mbnov

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Bad Diaries, Verb Wellington, LitCrawl - truly wonderful#litcrawl #verbwellington #wellington #wellingtonnz #aotearoa #literature #poetry

This book pretty much is everything about me at the moment … #books #sheep #history #life #work #farming

NZ Parliamentary Library

Beta version of the new Digital Bodleian is now online:

digital2.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Exciting!

NZ Bookshop Day - on Election Day!

A new book 📚 for the new library 📚 from a new bookshop 📚 #library #books #wellingtonnz #bookshop #nzbooks #nzbookshopday2020 @goodbookshopnz

"The Madman's Library" - The strangest books, manuscripts and other literary curiosities from history (Edward Brooke-Hitching, 2020)

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New library layout 📚

“The Burning of Books - A History of Knowledge Under Attack” 📚 (John Murray 2020)

Attacks on knowledge and its importance are increasingly notable. Such attacks have a long history, and this book explores that history, and its continuing relevance.

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The reading room takes shape… #renovations #kitchen #update #upgrade #warehouseapartment #openplan #design #evastreet #hannahslaneway #wellingtonnz

The Book of Koli

This looks like an interesting book 📚! Looks like another one I’ll need to track down and read…

Narrator Koli’s inquisitive mind and kind heart make him the perfect guide to Carey’s immersive, impeccably rendered world, and his speech and way of life are different enough to imagine the weight of what was lost but still achingly familiar, and as always, Carey leavens his often bleak scenarios with empathy and hope.

THE BOOK OF KOLI | Kirkus Reviews

Work - a history of how we spend out time

James Suzman’s new book 📚 “Work - a history of how we spend out time” is a fascinating and thought-provoking review of the long run history of work and the impact of agriculture and industrialisation. It highlights the opportunity, in a world of increasing automation, to transform how we organise our lives and economies to support ourselves and each other. As John Maynard Keynes thought:

by 2030, capital accumulation, improvements in productivity and technological advances would have solved the “economic problem” and ushered in an age in which no one besides a few “purposive moneymakers” worked more than 15 hours in a week

We now have a chance to turn that prediction into reality.

Read more: The 300,000-year case for the 15-hour week – Finanz.dk

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Just started reading: Alaric the Goth by Douglas Boin 📚

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Currently reading: Laughing Shall I Die by Tom Shippey 📚

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Currently reading: The making of the ancient Greek economy by Alain Bresson 📚

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The Children of Ash and Elm (Neil Price 2020)

Every now and then a history book comes along that helps you think about the past in entirely new ways.

This new history of the Vikings by Uppsala University archaeologist Neil Price does just that. 📚

See: Kirkus Reviews

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Review of Piranesi - a novel by Susanna Clarke

This new novel by Susanna Clarke (author of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell), references (in multiple ways) the work of the Italian artist and architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi known for his etchings of “fictitious and atmospheric prisons” (Le Carceri d’Invenzione). It is a ‘realist fantasy’ that conjures up both internal and external ‘otherworldliness’ in a lyrical and ultimately tender tale of loss, forgetting, and remembering.

Themes of finding truth through madness, caring for the dead and the lost, and devotion to place and the world (or worlds), are balanced with examinations of narcissism, ‘transgression’ and deep and enduring malicious manipulation.

It is all the more remarkable that this is told through a tale with initially only one character, and ultimately only a very small number of additional participants. It is a short read, for as the puzzle unfolds, the story draws you rapidly along until its ultimate and satisfying conclusion.

Highly recommended. 📚

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Reviews and Links

Home Sweet Labyrinth: Susanna Clarke’s Mysterious ‘Piranesi’ Will Lock You In

The long-awaited followup to ’Jonathan Strange" is even more magically immersive

Thrilling to the magic inside the houses in ‘Piranesi’

Susanna Clarke’s infinitely clever ‘Piranesi’ is enough to make you appreciate life in quarantine

Piranesi Review: Susanna Clarke Turns to Modernist Magical Realism

Giovanni Piranesi

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Susanna Clarke's new novel - "Piranesi"

Fascinating new book 📚

Only just started reading it and it’s intriguing and delightful.

Full review and links

“The Making of the Middle Sea”

New book 📚- “The Making of the Middle Sea” A history of the Mediterranean from the beginning to the emergence of the Classical World. (Cyprian Broodbank, Oxford, 2013)

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Arrowtown Library

Arrowtown Library 📚 #library #books #heritage #otago #aotearoa #winterpridenz #travel